Mealtime Mama: Cherry Chocolate Heart Torte

mealtime-mama-category-sponsor-banner-2017Happy day-before-Valentine’s Day, mamas! If you feel like busting out an extra special dessert in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve got one for you. One reviewer called this dish “crazy good,” and that’s all it took to sell us on it. With whipped cream, hot fudge and cherries, how can you go wrong?

Cherry Chocolate Heart Torte

Ingredients:

  • st-valentines-day-1990691_640 (2)1 pkg (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts
  • 2 teaspoons flour (divided)
  • 1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry filling and topping

Directions:

Allow both crust pouches to stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Remove one crust from pouch; unfold. Press out fold lines.

If crust cracks, wet fingers and push edges together. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flour over crust. Turn crust, floured side down, on ungreased cookie sheet. Using paper pattern as guide, cut crust into heart shape. Generously prick heart crust with fork.

cherry chocolate torteBake in a 450 F. oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool. Repeat with the remaining crust.

Combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and almond extract in a small bowl; beat until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until thickened.

To assemble, place one heart-shaped pie crust on serving plate; spread wtih 1/3 cup of the hot fudge. Carefully spread half of cream cheese mixture over hot fudge.

Remove 28 to 30 cherries from cherry filling; set aside. Spoon 2/3 of the cherry filling over cream cheese.

Spread second crust with remaining hot fudge and place over filling. Carefully spread with remaining cream cheese mixture. Arrange reserved cherries over cream cheese mixture in the shape of a heart about 1-inch from edge. Swirl remaining cherry filling inside of heart. Refrigerate until serving time. Store any remaining torte in refrigerator. (Click here for a printer-friendly copy of this recipe.)

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute, Inc.

For more meal inspiration, click here to check out the HUGE collection of recipes on the Harps website. You can register (for free) on the site and save all your favorites (or share one with a friend) by clicking one button. It’s super easy to search for ingredients, and we love how organized the recipe collection is. While you’re there, sign up to use the Harps Digital Coupon program. (No more forgetting your paper coupons at home!) Just enter your phone number at checkout and your coupons will be applied to the total. It’s so easy, and it’s one more reason we love shopping at Harps.

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Mealtime Mama: Aunt Carrie shares her orange cookies recipe + instant spiced tea

mealtime

Our thanks to Carrie Chastain of Siloam Springs for the sweet recipes below. Mrs. Chastain, an outgoing grandmother of eight, says the cookie recipe goes back so far in the family’s history that she has no idea where it really came from.

The orange cookies were originally baked on a wood stove and the ingredients list had to be adapted to modern measurements.

We think both of these recipes are PERFECT for the holidays!

Aunt Carrie’s Orange Cookies:

sugar2 cups sugar

1 cup butter (salted is preferred)

2 eggs

1 cup sour milk or 1 cup milk and 2 teaspoons vinegar

1 orange, juice and grated rind (I put about a half teaspoon orange flavoring in also)

1 teaspoon soda

4 and ½ cups sifted flour

Cream sugar and butter, add juice and rind of orange, then eggs, add milk and flour. Stir soda in last ¼ cup milk. Add to mixture. Drop by teaspoons on buttered pans. Bake at 350 degrees until brown. (This is a very old recipe, but I found it takes about 12 minutes.)

Icing:

orange-resized1 box powdered sugar

1 orange, juice and grated rind

2 T butter

A little milk

Melt butter and add small amount of sugar, cream well, add orange juice and rind and remaining sugar. Makes about 128 “good-sized” cookies. Can make half recipe for fewer cookies.

Instant Spiced Tea:

1 cup instant tea

1 ½ cups Tang or similar orange drink mix

cinnamon1 package lemon Kool-aid

½ T ginger

2 T cinnamon

1 cup sugar

Mix all ingredients well and store in covered container. Add 2 rounded teaspoons of mixture to a cup of hot water.

Note from the mamas: These recipes originally published in 2009.

Mealtime Mama: Cute treats for your Halloween or fall party

By Shannon Magsam

OK, mamas, this is a repeat post from last year. But it’s a fun one with several good ideas for fall food. Hope you enjoy:

The month of October is perfect for a party because of all the fun fall treats and the weather is just right for being outside.

I thought I’d share a few of the treats from our recent house party in case you want to use them at a gathering you’re having this month. Let’s start with the caramel apple bar, which I plan to do again on Halloween night for friends and new neighbors who stop over while trick-or-treating here. This was my 13-year-old daughter’s idea and it was a hit with our guests.

The Caramel Apple Bar is not a cookie, it’s this:

caramel apple bar, use this

You just grab some sliced apples (I cheated and bought them pre-cut), some caramel (you can make your own or buy) and then come up with all kinds of toppings that would taste great on a caramel apple. We had coconut, M&Ms, sprinkles and Skittles. There are tons of possibilities! I wish we’d added a spoon into the caramel (which is in the spider container in the above pic) because some friends just wanted to drizzle caramel over their apples.

Up next, MUMMIES!

Mummies, use thisThese were my teenager’s idea, too, and she made them. We realized after the fact that we should have used double-stuffed Oreos. To make them, just use icing to scribble the mummy faces and add edible eyes. If you use the larger Oreos, you can place a candy stick into each for a lollipop effect. Ours didn’t have enough stuffing for the stick, but I think they turned out cute anyway ;)

Our {Frightful} Fall Kettle Corn was also a big hit:

Frightful Fall Kettle Corn

We also cheated a little on this by buying bags of kettle corn to pop. So you just pop your kettle corn, pour it into a big bowl and add your favorite candies. We used mini chocolate chips, pretzels, M&Ms and candy corn (which makes it so cute!). After you gently mix the popcorn and candy together, drizzle melted chocolate over the top. We used decadent Ghirardelli dark melting wafers. YUM.

Those were the sweet treats. We also had chili (my husband’s special recipe) with all the fixin’s plus a few of my favorite appetizers. It was a fun party and the food prep turned out to be a great bonding experience with my teenager. Of course, as soon as we got finished cooking, my daughter went back to her regularly-scheduled Instagramming. It was good while it lasted.

Hope this inspires you to invite a few of your friends over for a fall get-together!

Mealtime Mama: Fresh strawberry pie for the Fourth of July!

Mealtime-mama1

Happy Fourth of July! This pie is sure to please.

If you’ve got pick-your-own strawberries (or if you picked some up from the store!), below a great pie recipe that our friend Kathleen Villar shared after she and her two kids visited McGarrah’s a few weeks ago. (Kathleen gives full credit to her friend Pam Lewis for the recipe.)

We couldn’t resist using a few of the pics from the Villars’ day at the farm, too! Those kids are so cute.

Strawberry Pie

Kathleen, berriesIngredients:

3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar (It is a SWEET dessert, you might want to reduce the sugar. I used just 1 cup.)
1 1/2 cups water
3 oz box strawberry Jell-O
2 cups sliced strawberries (If the berries are small, it may take a little more. I just filled the pie crust.)

Directions:

  • Pre-bake a 10″ pie shell. (I used a pre-made graham cracker crust. They have pre-made shortbread too!)
  • Line bottom with the sliced strawberries
  • Combine cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Pour over the strawberries (I didn’t use it all) and refrigerate until set.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Kathleen's kids, berriesNote from the mamas: This post originally published on nwaMotherlode.com in June 2014. There are three little Villars now!

Summer-Remix4

Mealtime Mama: Easy Banana Pudding

I’ll be the first to admit that I am NOT a good cook. But when I make my Great Aunt Eunice’s banana pudding, people think I’m a good cook. But all the credit goes to her recipe. It’s easy, and the results are SO good.

bananas minionThis is my go-to dessert to take to potluck dinners, church events, teacher luncheons, etc. If you have some vanilla wafers and ripe bananas in your kitchen, I’m betting you already have the rest of the ingredients you’ll need.

Hope you love it!

Banana Pudding

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs (separated; only use yolks)
  • 1 heaping cup of sugar (but less than 1 1/4 cup)
  • 4 large heaping tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups homogenized milk (We use 2% milk.)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Directions

Mix sugar and flour together. Add milk and beaten egg yolks.

jackson vanilla wafers2Cook until thick over low heat, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and add 1/2 stick of butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.

Mix well and cool a little, then pour over about 3/4 package of Jackson vanilla wafers and 6 large bananas that have been sliced and mixed in with the cookies.

This recipe makes a large bowl of banana pudding, and we love it best when it’s still warm. Yum!

Enjoy!